Over the past decade, human activity has started to cause an increased rate of negative change to our climate. Although climate change is a worldwide problem no one will feel the impact as harshly as third world countries such many parts of Africa, Asia, and South America. These countries are estimated to be hit the hardest by climate change even though they did the least to cause it. Developing countries have been struggling over the past few years on their own, and now with the effects of climate change increasing those countries are starting to run into serious problems.
Every year, natural disasters result in 60,000 deaths, mainly in developing countries (World). These problems are only predicted to become worst over the next decade. These issues will undo some of their previous developmental progress and cripple their ability to further develop. Other issues include the loss of large amounts of cash crops, increase of disease spread, and rising water scarcity which will also cause an extreme decline in third world economies and future development.
The changing climate on Earth will have a devastating impact on less developed countries because of a lack of food production, physical destruction and health problems, and damage to the economy. One major issue for of developing countries that will be tremendously impacted is food production. Most production of food in third world countries is rain fed agriculture (Impact). Which means that farmers rely heavily on rain to water the crops because of an industrial the lack of water supply in these countries.
The new climate is predicted to be hotter than it has ever been while crops in these regions will only grow at the temperatures that are present today. The increase in global temperature will make it extremely difficult for farmers to grow crops to feed their family and serve as their primary source of income. People in these countries will experience diminishing food availability occurring at increasing rates with the changing climate. “Food availability in these region will average 500 calories less per person in 2050, a 21 percent decline.( Impact)” This lowered calorie count per person will cause a rapidly rising number of malnourished people in these countries. Which will lead to a lowered life expectancy and lower population count. Another huge part of developing countries’ food supply is animals. Climate change will play a major role in animal health. The increasing number of droughts, flooding, and loss of arable land will impact animal health severely. Animals will have no water or food to eat causing large amounts of animal deaths.
The people in these countries will lose a large source of calories if animal deaths rise. Also, fisheries are a big part in food supply which will also start to encounter the problems of climate change. The new climate is causing damage to the coral reef systems because of the stronger storms and the rising sea levels, which effects the fish populations in those areas (Desanker). With lower amounts of fish, these fisheries will be producing less amounts of food for third world countries.
Also the increasing water temperatures, due to the rising atmospheric temperatures are causing fish to move to colder water were fishermen are not able to fish. Lastly, climate change is creating an increase in desertification. This will create huge problems for the people in those regions which is mostly developing countries. Some effects of increasing desertification are a lack of vegetation, loss of farmable land, and poor water quality. All of which will contribute to an increase in famine (World Bank). The final problem of climate change that will effect food supply is water shortages.
Water has been in short supply in developing countries over the past decade before climate change and now water availability is expected to decrease at rapid rates bringing forth major problems for these countries. Some of the major sources of water for the rivers and other reservoirs in developing nations come from snow and glaciers on the top of mountains (Desanker). These reservoirs are estimated to run out of water in the near future, and during the warmer weather rivers are beginning to dry out because of this loss of frozen water.
In third world countries the ratio of water consumption to daily requirements is predicted to become worse. This means people will be drinking less water than is required for humans to be healthy, again leading to serious health problems for the population of these countries. In Africa, it is projected that 460 million people will be under water stress having only 1000m3 of water per person per year due to the effects of climate change (African).
Lastly, with increase in the amount of flooding, which will contaminate water supplies, and changing rainfall patterns, fresh water supplies are projected to significantly decrease. The second major problem that climate change will bring to developing countries is physical destruction and health problems. Natural disasters are going to become a large problem for developing nations for multiple reasons. First of all, these disasters are projected to increase in strength and frequency. Natural disasters cause over 60,000 deaths in third world counties, and that is before the effects of climate change (World).
This massive loss of people will grow rapidly putting a huge dent in these countries’ population. Also the increase in disasters is causing massive crop loss due to flooding and bad storms. Flooding is the biggest concern in third world countries because it creates higher risks of water-borne diseases and causes large amounts of destruction to land and crops (World). The reason developing countries are at such a higher risk of these disasters is because they have little money and resources to rebuild after the devastating effects of disasters.
Additionally some countries are still paying off debt from previous disasters so they have little to no money for the increasing rate of the upcoming disasters. Another huge health concern with climate change is the rising global temperature changes. These changes are creating difficulties for the old, sick, and those with asthma (Kasotia). Since most developing countries are located in hotter, more tropical regions, the projected rise in the average temperature by a few degrees will create more ozone in the atmosphere.
Elevated ozone can damage people’s lungs, and individuals with asthma will have greater difficulties doing any physical activities (Kasotia). These rising temperatures also are creating a problem for farmers trying to grow cash crops, which are used to support the farmers’ family. This is an extreme concern in these countries because of limited material and monetary resources necessary to protect themselves through the installation of cooling systems in buildings and homes. The rate of disease spread will rapidly be magnified by the effects of climate change over time.
Even little changes to the temperature or rain fall will cause a rapid increase in the amount of disease-carrying mosquitoes, which will lead to massive malaria epidemics (World). People in developing countries will be discouraged from leaving their homes because of the risk of getting sick, because it is extremely expensive to get medication for illnesses. Today, one million people die a year from malaria, mainly kids under the age of five in Africa (World). Also people with heart problems will be at high risk with the increasing temperature and diseases because of the increase of stress on their body.
The population of third world countries are also vulnerable because they are not able to receive any aid from their own government or from other countries because it is much too expensive to deliver the medication they need. This issue of widespread disease is a rapidly growing concern of third world countries and there is no easy solution without the help of other First World countries. The economy in the developing world has been struggling over the past decade trying to regain a foothold, but with climate change on the horizon all their recent development is about to be all for nothing.
Climate change is projected to largely impact the economy of third world countries because of its already weakened condition and because it is mostly based on agriculture. Agriculture accounts for a large part of GDP, export earnings, and employment in these countries (Impact). To lose the ability to grow the crops on which they depend will be devastating to these countries and cause a further plummet into debt. Cash crops are an extremely important part of the economy in these countries. The changing climate is predicted to shorten the lengths of growing seasons (McGuigan).
Which will have major impacts on the amount of crops farmers can produce, effecting the amount of money the country can make. So, with the increased flooding and shortened growing season, farmers will have a difficult time keeping crops alive long enough to harvest and sell. This type of agriculture supports three-quarters of Africa’s population (Besada). Climate change is predicted to severely cripple third world countries’ development by hurting their population and work force. Due to effects of climate change, it will be hard for people to stay well without proper medication, which they can’t afford.
The lack of safe water in these areas increases the risk of disease which causes 2. 2 million deaths ever year (World). That alone starts to have some major impacts on the amount of workers these countries have available and how well the workers that they do have will work. Also, with most of these countries employment being in agriculture, many will lose their jobs due to the difficulties in growing crops in the new climate that is coming. This problem of a lack of workers really cripples their ability to even try to regain an economy and continue their development.
Lastly, natural disasters, which are predicted to worsen with the upcoming changes in the global climate, will likely cause a rise in the 60,000 people dying a year from disasters (World). Without aid from First World countries these numbers will only continue to grow. Lastly, the large cost for all the physical property damages that are predicted to come with climate change will again put these vulnerable countries farther into debt with little means of escape. “Natural disasters caused damage representing between 2 and 15 percent of an exposed county’s annual GDP” (World Bank).
This increasing cost will become a huge problem for these countries. The largest cost they are going to have to deal with is all the damaged crops from flooding and other disasters. Since most of these third world countries rely heavily on their crops to make money, and they spend most of their money on their crops, losing them will result in a massive amount of money that was wasted on destroyed crops. Also, the loss of their livestock due to the increase in heat, droughts, and flooding is another large negative economic impact for the population of developing countries.
For some people in these countries their animals are the only thing they own. If they lose them because of climate change then they will have nothing left to support themselves or their family. Livestock losses have put about 11 million people dependent on their livestock into a crisis not knowing how they can survive (Besada). Climate change is becoming a huge issue worldwide, but developing countries are the most vulnerable of all. Due to the limited supply of the resources and money required to adapt to and survive through the coming changes. Additionally continuing low levels of food availability for the people indeveloping countries is putting third world countries in an extremely bad position to deal with climate change. Many third world countries will simply not be able to reasonably survive through the new climate without the aid of wealthy countries. However, most countries in need cannot support the large debt that would be included in order to survive. Third world countries are the most vulnerable to the devastating impacts of climate change because of their lack of food production, the extreme physical and property damages, increased health problems, and their crippled economies.